Turkish PM asks media to focus on ‘Turkish interests’ on Afrin coverage

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım asked Turkish media to consider “national interests” of Turkey while reporting about military operation on Syrian enclave of Afrin.

PM Yıldırım on Saturday handed 15 principles in a meeting with Turkish media representatives in Istanbul, news website Oda TV reported.

Government Spokesman Bekir Bozdağ, Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli and ruling AKP’s Spokesman Mahir Ünal were also present at the meeting.

Turkish government’s 'expectations' from the media included:

  • Portray the Afrin operation as a fight against terrorism, highlight that it protects civilians from harm;
  • Do not cover Kurdish insurgent groups’ or political movements’ critical statements or demonstrations against the operation, do not report incidents that could morally support them;
  • Be vigilant against foreign media’s critical news about Turkey, report by taking Turkey’s national interest into account;
  • Do not quote critical voices who could portray Turkey as an “invader” in Syria;
  • Take updates from government spokesman and ruling party spokesman;
  • Feature that Turkey’s domestically produced weapons are being used in the operation.